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Alma Mater Studiorum - Universit di Bologna

Oggetti-simbolo: produzione, uso e significato nel mondo antico


a cura di Isabella Baldini Lippolis, Anna Lina Morelli

ESTRATTO

Ornamenta

Con il contributo di

2011 Ante Quem soc. coop. Ante Quem soc. coop. Via San Petronio Vecchio 6, 40125 Bologna - tel. e fax +39 051 4211109 www.antequem.it redazione e impaginazione: Enrico Gall, Cristina Servadei ISBN 978-88-7849-056-7

Finito di stampare nel mese di maggio 2011 da Officine Grafiche Litosei, Rastignano (Bo) Impianti: Color Dimension, Villanova di Castenaso (Bo)

INDICE

Isabella Baldini Lippolis, Anna Lina Morelli Introduzione Lorenza Ilia Manfredi Le monete puniche e neopuniche riutilizzate nei contesti tombali di Ibiza Simona Russo Gioielli e papiri Daniela Rigato Tra pietas e magia: gemme e preziosi offerti alle divinit Cinzia Cavallari, Caterina Cornelio Cassai Gemme e preziosi di et romana da Bononia: i contesti archeologici degli scavi della nuova Stazione Irene Som Aurea mediocritas: le immagini delle Augustae in metalli nobili tra autorappresentazione e omaggio al potere Anna Lina Morelli La patera di Rennes: analisi numismatica Luigi M. Cali La patera di Rennes. Uno studio iconologico Adelmo Garuti, Gian Lorenzo Calzoni Una copia della patera di Rennes

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Erica Filippini Ritratti di Augustae nella gioielleria monetale di et romana: raccolta e sintesi preliminare di dati Claudia Perassi Lanello da Amiens. Un caso di studio della gioielleria monetale romana Beatrice Girotti I ritratti di Zenobia nella Historia Augusta tra simbologia e inventio Isabella Baldini, Joan Pinar Gil Spilloni con pendenti da contesti funerari della Romagna: una prima riflessione Veronica Zanasi Anelli nuziali tardoantichi: uso e significato Dieter Quast Symbolic Treasures in Barbarian Burials (3rd-7th century AD) Paolo de Vingo Objets de tradition et objets de la transition dans les pratiques de la classe aristocratique lombarde masculine sur le territoire pimontais Manuela Catarsi Elementi di cinture ageminate dalle necropoli longobarde dellEmilia occidentale Appendice: Le analisi chimiche di Paolo Zannini Federica Pannuti Lamine auree bizantine dalla Calabria Daniela Ferro Perizia Tecnica e Sapere Scientifico nel gioiello antico

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Indice

Carla Martini, Gian Luca Garagnani Archeometallurgia: metodi di indagine, casi di studio e raccolta dati per il database JiC Anna Maria Capoferro Cencetti I camei in lava del Vesuvio: storia e mito, arcano e realt Paola Porta Ancora sullarte anglosassone: il calice di Tassilone Alessandro Pacini, Marco Casagrande Tecniche di ricostruzione del crescente lunare in oro del Fayum (I secolo d.C.) Maria Teresa Guaitoli, Franco Marzatico I monili in Mostra: leloquenza degli ornamenti nella comunicazione museale Cap. Carmelo Manola Il Comando Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale

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SYMBOLIC TREASURES IN BARBARIAN BURIALS (3RD-7TH CENTURY AD)


Dieter Quast

ABSTRACT: From the 3rd century onwards, in a few princely graves in the barbaricum, indications to the deposit of small parts constituting to something akin to a royal treasure is found. Naturally only a part thereof as the thesaurus was an important instrument of power for the successors of the buried persons. Two groups of objects are belonging to the symbolic treasure in the grave: old but high quality pieces and multiple sets of jewellery which in some cases never were used. Two main topics are clearly visible: wealth and tradition as a matter of legitimation. KEYWORDS: Princely graves, Royal treasure, Thesaurus, Objects of memory.

In the year 1653 the Walloon city of Tournai decided to build a new almshouse north of the parish church of St. Brice on the eastern bank of the river Schelde opposite to the late roman fortified Tornacum. During the digging works the deaf-mute bricklayer Hadrian Quinquin detected one of the most famous early medieval burials when he smashed his pick-axe into a decomposed purse containing hundreds of golden and silver coins. This grave was publicised soon after just two years later by Jean Jacques Chiflet who was able to identify the golden signet ring contained therein (fig. 1) as that of the Merovingian king Childeric I. who died in 481/4821. Chiflets publication on the Tournai site contains engravings of all the objects found in the grave and this is of a high value because most of the objects were stolen from the Bibliothque Nationale in Paris2 during the of night of 5th-6th November of year in 1831. Only a few objects could be recovered and they show the extremely high quality of manufacture.

CHIFLET 1655. Cfr. additionally COCHET 1859; BHNER 1981; MLLER-WILLE 1998; CAT. SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE 2000, pp. 206-209; HALSALL 2001. For the surroundings of the burial see BRULET 1990; ID 1991. PRIN 1982. 253

Dieter Quast

Fig. 1. Golden signet ring from the grave of the Frankish king Childeric I ( 481/482). After CHIFLET 1655, p. 96

Comparing the royal grave to more or less average male graves of the late 5th and 6th century something surprising become obvious. The Frankish king had two different swords, one shield, an axe, a spear, and belts in his grave. This is exactly what has been found in hundreds of male graves; of course, not to the same quality, but in the same composition3. There was quite clearly a standard furnishing of weapons which was obviously not exceeded by Childeric. Of course Childeric has unusual objects, sorts of insignia like golden finger rings, a massive golden arm ring of ca. 300 g, but we can find similar items in other rich graves4. The status of royalty pertaining to the grave of the Frankish king was demonstrated by the over 300 coins. This treasure consists of more than 200 Denarii of the 2nd century, one Siliqua (Constantius II) of the 4th century and more than 100 Solidi of the 5th century (fig. 2). This means that the treasure was assembled over centuries and Maria R. Alfldi and Karlheinz Stribrny had pointed out that this is evidenced due to the number of coins emanating from outside the Roman Empire5, meaning that it could not have been illicitly acquired by Childeric during his time as a commandant of the province Belgica secunda. The coins and a few other objects, such as an agate stone vessel and a rock crystal ball the upper part of a late antique sceptre6 had been part of his royal treasure. Naturally only a part thereof as the thesaurus was an impor-

4 5 6

For the composition of weapons in graves in Frankish and Alamannic region cfr. SIEGMUND 2000, pp. 174-213. WERNER 1980, pp. 1-6. ALFLDI, STRIBRNY 1998, pp. 37-43; MARTIN 2004. QUAST 2010.

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Fig. 2. Solidi and Denari from Childerics grave. After CHIFLET 1655, pp. 252, 271 255

Dieter Quast

tant instrument of power for his son and successor, Chlodwig. However, these parts present symbolically the royal treasure or better the royal status of Childeric in his grave. Two main topics are clearly visible: wealth and tradition as a matter of legitimation. Something similar is reflected by the feature of the famous Sutton Hoo ship burial which was excavated in 1939 near Woodbridge, Suffolk, in East Anglia. Under a large tumulus a 27 m long ship, with a burial chamber, was detected which contains one of the most magnificent archaeological finds in England7. Due to the dating and the rich material, the Sutton Hoo ship burial is connected with the East Anglian King Raedwald who died in AD 624, even though no skeleton remains were found8. Like Childeric the buried man had a purse, but only with 37 tremisses minted by monetarii in the late 6th-early 7th century9. Of course there were extraordinary artefacts in the grave containing warrior equipment like a helmet, a sword, a shield, an axe-hammer10 and belt buckles one of them of massive gold, shoulder claps with cloisonn etc.11. Even if the quality of these objects is outstanding and in most parts unique, also interesting is the assemblage of Mediterranean silverware. Next to the head was placed a set of 10 silver bowls, probably made in the Eastern Empire during the sixth century12. Beneath them were two silver spoons: One of them with a Greek inscription in Niello lettering with the name of PAVLOC. The other one has been modified using lettering conventions of a Frankish coin-die cutter, to read CAVLOC. Due to these inscriptions there is a discussion as to whether the set of bowls and spoons were a baptism gift, but this is a question outside the scope of this present paper13. Additionally, two silver plates were laid on the body of Raedwald. A fluted silver dish with two handles, probably of Italian make, with the relief image of a female head in late Roman style worked into the bowl (fig. 3). The exact dating of the dish is very difficult to determine and Bruce-Mitford dated it from the 5th to the 6th
7

8 9 10 11 12 13

BRUCE-MITFORD 1975; ID. 1978; ID. 1983; CARE EVANS 1986. For the surroundings of the burial see now CARVER 2005. BRUCE-MITFORD 1975, pp. 683-717, especially pp. 715-717. BRUCE-MITFORD 1975, pp. 578-647. DOBAT 2006. BRUCE-MITFORD 1978. BRUCE-MITFORD 1983, pp. 69-111; HARRIS 2003, pp. 169-171. BRUCE-MITFORD 1983, pp. 125-146, especially pp. 136-143.

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Fig. 3. Fluted silver dish with the relief image of a female (diameter 39-41 cm). After BRUCE-MITFORD 1983, p. 48, fig. 40

century14. Even this provides very important information. The object was already over 80 years old prior to the burial. More impressive still is a large plate with a diameter of 72 cm and a weight of 5,64 kg of silver (fig. 4). It came from Byzantium bearing the control stamps of the Emperor Anastasius I (491-518) so, when it was buried in Sutton Hoo it was more than 100 years old15. We can only speculate whether Raedwald obtained this old plate as an antiquity together with the other silver objects, or if this plate was in the property of his family for long time. It is most probable that the Anastasius plate was considered as an old object and thus capable of signifying something akin to a leadership tradition. Roman, or rather Byzantine, silver and gold vessels had been at least from the 3rd century important parts of barbarian thesauri. Written sources mentioned them especially from the Merovingian
14 15

BRUCE-MITFORD 1983, pp. 45-69. DODD 1961, pp. 58-59, n. 4; BRUCE-MITFORD 1983, pp. 4-45; ENGEMANN 1988; HARRIS 2003, pp. 1178-1179. 257

Dieter Quast

Fig. 4. Silver Dish bearing the control stamps of the Emperor Anastasius I (491518) (diameter 72 cm). After BRUCE-MITFORD 1983, p. 6 fig. 4; p. 7 fig. 5 and p. 30 fig. 28

period16. In graves these vessels hardly exist. Going back to the time of Childeric there is one of the very few exceptions: In Transylvania in 1889 the first of the three Apahida graves was found17. Unfortunately there was no professional excavation and the inventory seems to be incomplete. On a golden finger ring the name of the man OMAHARUS is mentioned. His grave furnishing is comparable to that of the Childeric grave. It contains a golden crossbow brooch, cloisonn buckles of the highest quality, and a massive golden bracelet of 230
16 17

HARDT 2004 pp. 102-120. CAT. SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE 2000, pp. 184-190; SCHMAUDER 2002, 2, pp. 7-10 (with bibliography).

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Fig. 5. Silver Ewers from Apahida grave I. (height 31,3 and 32 cm). After CAT. SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE 2000, pp. 189-190

g which is the weight of 50 Solidi. Conspicuous is a pair of silver ewers (fig. 5) which seem to be around 80 years old when they were buried in Omaharus grave18. They symbolise the royal treasure. In the Carpathian basin of the migration period there are also a few hoards which are interpreted as parts of royal treasures. They give additional information for the composition of those thesauri. Gold vessels represent the dominant part of the Pietroasa (Pietroasele, jud. Buza u , RO) treasure, buried in the first half of the 5th 19 century . Incidentally, those vessels are nearly the only golden ones from this period. Another important component part of Pietroasa are the brooches, namely those of female dress as well as those of males. Brooches are an important part of the Szilgysomly (today S laj, RO) treasure in Transylvania as well20. imleul Silvaniei, jud. Sa Only one of them belongs to the male regalia a so called emper18 19 20

SCHMAUDER 2002, 2, pp. 184-186. CAT. FRANKFURT 1994, pp. 230-235; SCHMAUDER 2002, 2, pp. 49-56 (with bibliography). SEIPEL 1999; SCHMAUDER 2002, 2, pp. 72-88. 259

Dieter Quast

Fig. 6. Emperors brooch from Szilgysomly (length 17,1 cm). After SEIPEL 1999, p. 146, fig. 5

ors brooch (fig. 6), the others 10 pairs belong to female dress21. The treasure was assembled over 80 years and started (if we ignore single medallions of Maximianus and Constantin and his sons) with medallions from Valentinianus I (1x), Gratian (1x) and Valens (7x)22. However, when it was buried in the second quarter of the 5th century it demonstrated wealth and old kinship traditions of the owner, exactly like the symbolic treasure of Childeric. Brooches, as an important part of thesauri are mirrored also in some burials, not in migration period but more rather in 3rd century. There are two concise examples I wish to mention, both from modern Slovakia. The first Ostrovany is located in the east of the country and was discovered in two separate occasions in 1790 and 186523. It is still under discussion if it has been two graves or only one, detected on two occasions. Focusing only on the so-called Ostrovany-I-find we can ignore this debate at present and instead concentrate on the objects therein which are very impressive. They belong to a male grave from the second half of the 3rd century. It contains apart from golden vessels, bracelets and neck rings 5 golden brooches (fig. 7), two of them quite certainly from the Roman Empire. This set is not simply to
21

22 23

For the division of the objects to male and female dress adornments cfr. QUAST 2011. BURSCHE 1998, pp. 241-247; DEMBSKI 1999; SCHMAUDER 2002, 1, pp. 160-169. PROHSZKA 2006.

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Fig. 7. Golden brooches from the Ostrovany-I-find (1 = 14,7 cm; 2 = 6,3 cm; 3 = 5,7 cm; 4 = 9,8 cm; 5 = 7,2 cm). After PROHSZKA 2006, p. 131, pl. 11

be interpreted as five coats together with their clasps having been laid together into the grave rather that the clasps themselves symbolise the royal treasure. An important feature for this is given by a contemporary princely grave excavated under good conditions in 1990 in Gommern in modern eastern Germany. The buried man had three fibulae, two of gold, one of silver. One was found on the shoulder where it closed a cloak, but the two others were fixed to each other and lay in the region of the hip probably deposited in a small bag24. They were certainly not put together with the cloaks into the grave. In terms of quantity, more impressive than the Ostrovany find, is a burial from the first half of the 3rd century in Strzewestern Slovakia
24

BECKER 2000 p. 131. Lastly on the grave BECKER 2009. 261

Dieter Quast

found in 193925. From the skeleton only the skull has been preserved. It is apparently the grave of a 16 year old person. 4 pairs and 4 single fibulae of silver and gold had been in the chamber. Unfortunately the objects were dug out by workers in a clay-pit so we have no documentation where they had been laying. Some of them are of finest technical quality and not used. Additionally the grave contained 11 kg of silver vessels, a skyphos, a bowl from the second half of the second century, an oval tray and a large basin26. Invaluable is the large lanx rotunda, 4 kg of finest silverware with a frieze on the horizontal rim telling the story of the banishment of the last Tarquinian king Tarquinius Superbus and the formation of the Roman Republic (fig. 8). Erika Simon had pointed out that the plate was made for the 900 years jubilee of the town Rome during the reign of Antoninus Pius in the year 14727. So at burial time in the first half of the 3rd century this lanx had existed more than 60 years. It was not merely a plate in the grave not only because of the value, but also for the very fact that the plate by itself was not normally part of furniture, as usually only drinking cups and pots were used as grave furniture. With the Strze grave the series of examples of graves from the 3rd, 5th and 7th century with symbolic treasures ends. However, the analysis of the results can be summed up as follows: from the 3rd century onwards in a few princely graves in the barbaricum, indications to the deposit of small parts constituting to something akin to a royal treasure is found. Thanks to more or less standardised grave furniture it is possible to detect obviously unusual objects. It is impossible to find all of them because on the one hand organic materials are not preserved e.g. silk; on the other hand some objects are difficult to estimate now which may have been considered as valuable in the past. In this context a chunky, but with a gold sheet repaired glass beaker produced in the Late Roman Empire from the Apahida II grave could be considered (fig. 9)28. It is one of the richest migration period graves, and relatively near to the Danube frontier, so this repair in itself
25 26 27

28

Lastly QUAST 2009, with bibliography on pp. 58-59. QUAST 2009, pp. 21-23, figs. 35-37. SIMON 2001; QUAST 2009, pp. 23-27, figs. 38-41; cfr. now with alternative interpretation STEINHART 2009. CAT. SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE 2000, p. 177, nn. 40-41, with fig on p. 182. A few comparable repaired glasses are known from Scandinavia, far away from the border, cfr. STRAUME 1977, KRISTOFFERSEN 2008.

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Fig. 8. Lanx rotunda from Strze grave 2. (diameter 45,7 cm). Hornonitrianske Mzeum Prievidza. Photo: Volker Iserhardt, Ren Mller, Sabine Steidl, RGZM

was of some value in that it was relatively easy to obtain a new intact glass beaker, indicating that this particular piece of glass must be of high importance as an object of memory. What is detectable demonstrates two aspects: wealth and tradition. This means the objects are made of gold or silver and of high quality. And some of them are old at the time of burial. They are heirlooms and show lineage of a successful kinship. However, was this really visible for everybody who took part in the burial ceremony? To answer this question in the positive, then it is necessary to extend our thinking a little bit. The Roman Empire is well known in some detail due to the written sources that emanated from it. Archived documents, for example lists
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Dieter Quast

Fig. 9. Glass from Apahida grave II, repaired with a sheet of gold. (height 17,5 cm). After CAT. SAINT-GERMAIN-ENLAYE 2000, p. 182

of politicians, texts of laws, history books, remind of the actual history and thus provide a communal reference and identity. In the barbaricum writing was unknown in that respect we are dealing with oral societies. To recapitulate their history they use so-called objects of memory. Those objects were important because their acquisition is associated with definite events. They may be the booty from battles, or diplomatic gifts, and therefore precious. It goes without saying in hierarchic society that they belonged to the leader and became part of the thesaurus. The royal treasure was an important instrument of power29. Nevertheless the terminus treasure is a little bit more unfathomable because in our modern understanding it means something mysterious, something hidden. The contrary was the fact in early medieval period. The treasure was something to highlight wealth and power. It was an active instrument where objects came in to the group as gifts, booty or otherwise and often given on to retainers or coequal leaders. This is in line with the principle of the gift and the pioneering work in this connection of Marcel Mauss, wider consideration of which is somewhat out of scope of this paper30. However, what is clearly visible is that objects of memory had been part of the thesaurus. Objects of memory are not necessarily old, but they can be so. For an archaeologist this provides a possibility to distinguish such objects. Silverware and for example tripods folding tables or altars can be interpreted in this sense (fig. 10). Of course, these objects can be the result of a successful plundering of a Roman
29 30

GASPARI 2004; HARDT 2004. MAUSS 1925.

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province or temple, but even then they were objects of memory. In graves they were combined with sets of jewellery, especially brooches, more than usual in a grave. In some cases it was clear that the brooches never were used, because they had absolutely no traces of abrasion. Most probably they were from the treasure objects to show, to demonstrate wealth, or objects that could be used as gift.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Many thanks to Andrew Brown, Mainz, for improving my English text

Fig. 10. Tripod (Bronze) from Strze grave 2. (height 96 cm). Balneologick Mzeum Piestany. Photo: Volker Iserhardt, Ren Mller, Sabine Steidl, RGZM

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Dieter Quast

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ALFLDI, STRIBRNY 1998 = M.R. ALFLDI, K. STRIBRNY, Zu den Mnzbeigaben im Childerichgrab, in MLLER-WILLE 1998, pp. 37-43. BECKER 2000 = M. BECKER, Bekleidung Schmuck Ausrstung, in Gold fr die Ewigkeit. Das germanische Frstengrab von Gommern, Exhibition Catalogue Halle, Halle 2000, pp. 127-147. BECKER 2009 = M. BECKER, Das germanische Frstengrab von Gommern, in 2000 Jahre Varusschlacht: Konflikt, Exhibition Catalogue Kalkriese, Stuttgart 2009, pp. 370-371. BHNER 1981 = K. BHNER, Childerich von Tournai. III. Archologisches, in Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde 4, Berlin-New York 1981, pp. 441-460. BRUCE-MITFORD 1975 = R. BRUCE-MITFORD, The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial 1. Excavations, Background, the Ship, Dating and Inventory, London 1975. BRUCE-MITFORD 1978 = R. BRUCE-MITFORD, The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial 2. Arms, Armour and Regalia, London 1978. BRUCE-MITFORD 1983 = R. BRUCE-MITFORD, The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial 3. Late Roman and Byzantine Silver, Hanging-Bowls, Drinking Vessels, Cauldrons and other Containers, Textiles, the Lyre, Pottery Bottle and other Items, London 1983. BRULET 1990 = R. BRULET, Les Fouilles du Quartier Saint-Brice Tournai. LEnvironment funraire de la Spulture de Childric, 1, Louvain-La-Neuve 1990. BRULET 1991 = R. BRULET, Les Fouilles du Quartier Saint-Brice Tournai. LEnvironment funraire de la Spulture de Childric, 2, Louvain-La-Neuve 1991. BURSCHE 1998 = A. BURSCHE, Zlote Medaliony rzymskie w Barbaricum, Warszawa 1998. CARE EVANS 1986= A. CARE EVANS, The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial, London 1986. CARVER 2005 = M. CARVER, Sutton Hoo, a Seventh Century Princely Burial Ground and its Context, London 2005. CAT. FRANKFURT 1994 = Goldhelm, Schwert und Silberschtze. Reichtmer aus 6000 Jahren Rumnischer Vergangenheit, Exhibition Catalogue Frankfurt, Frankfurt 1994. CAT. SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE 2000 = Lor des princes barbares du Caucase la Gaule, Ve sicle aprs J.-C., Exhibition Catalogue Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Paris 2000.
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Abhandlungen der Geistes- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Klasse 1998, 1, Stuttgart 1998. PRIN 1982 = P. PRIN, Le vol du trsor de Childerici Ier la Bibliothque Royale en 1831, in Revues de la Police Nationale 117, March 1982, pp. 32-35. PROHSZKA 2006 = P. PROHSZKA, Das vandalische Knigsgrab von Osztrpataka (Ostrovany, SK), Budapest 2006. QUAST 2009 = D. QUAST, Wanderer zwischen den Welten. Die germansichen Prunkgrber von Strze und Zakrzw, Mainz 2009. QUAST 2010 = D. QUAST, Ein sptantikes Zepter aus dem Childerichgrab, in Archologisches Korrespondenzblatt 40, 2010, pp. 285-296. QUAST 2011 = D. QUAST, Der Schatz der Knigin? Vlkerwanderungszeitliche Schatzfunde und weibliche Eliten, in D. QUAST (ed.), Weibliche Eliten in der Frhgeschichte, Mainz 2010. SCHMAUDER 2002 = M. SCHMAUDER, Oberschichtgrber und Verwahrfunde in Sdosteuropa im 4. und 5. Jahrhundert, Bukarest 2002. SEIPEL 1999 = W. SEIPEL (ed.), Barbarenschmuck und Rmergold. Der Schatz von Szilgysomly, Exhibition Catalogue Vienna, Milano 1999. SIEGMUND 2000 = F. SIEGMUND, Alemannen und Franken, Berlin-New York 2000. SIMON 2001 = E. SIMON, Die Lax von Strze, in Anodos 1, 2001, pp. 197-208. STEINHART 2009 = M. STEINHART, Bilder der virtus. Tafelsilber der Kaiserzeit und die groen Vorbilder Roms: Die Lanx von Strze, Stuttgart 2009. STRAUME 1977 = E. STRAUME, Glasgefe mit Reparatur in norwegischen Grabfunden der Vlkerwanderungszeit, in Festschrift zum 50jhrigen Bestehen des Vorgeschichtlichen Seminars Marburg, Gladenbach 1977, pp. 273-282. WERNER 1980 = J. WERNER, Der goldene Armring des Frankenknigs Childerich und die germanischen Handgelenkringe der jngeren Kaiserzeit, in FrhMitAltSt 14, 1980, pp. 1-49.

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